I sometimes go back and see what I wrote years ago to see what life was like then, and how I may have changed. Here is something I wrote in the Fall of 2009.
I am thankful to God for...
my God. He is the only one... true... but He chose to bring me into His world, and He didn't have to. Once I was here, I grew away from Him. But He crossed the universe to bring me back to Himself. No one else has ever done that for me... no one else could. Every other blessing in my life... including the ones listed below, came from Him. So to God I say, "Thank you for...
my parents. After God, they were the next ones to know me. My dad has always been, and still is my hero. Even when I have been his zero, he loved me, and taught me that you can love someone and be in relationship with them even when you think they are wrong. A good part of any good in me, is from him... he'll never know. My mom was the loving, nurturing mother I needed, even... especially at times when I wasn't the child she wanted. They are the best.
my early family. They put up with me as the oldest brother. My brother, who was way cooler than me... My sisters, who were way prettier than me. It's a good thing I was oldest. That's all I had.
my wife. I have known Becky longer than my sisters... and often treated her like I did them. Eventually she came love to me. It isn't that I would be lost without her... I simply wouldn't be.
my children. The best God could give me. They have blessed me, even when I wasn't a blessing to them. David is in touch with God and loves people in greater measure than I could have hoped. Tabitha's desire to help in the spirit of Christ is inspiring. Anna shines joy as she finds her way in the wake of a family of five.
my local church (throughout the years). More than anyone I know, I have been surrounded by people whose belief in me was only surpassed by their faith in God. Whether through feats or failures, I learned love, trust, compassion, servanthood, leadership, humility, etc. from people who showed me God. Too many to list here. But I know who they are, and I hope they do as well.
other Christians. People who have been a part of my life for short, or extended periods of time. I have been impacted by so many... It's humbling. Many in person, and some through Facebook. Some older, some peers, some younger.
other people who maybe aren't believers yet. I learn from everyone. I have often been a first-class jerk to people who weren't receiving what I was trying to give out. I'm sure this is hard for some of you to believe - heh... but it is true. I now truly enjoy the time I have with those who aren't in agreement with me in the areas of faith.
You... whoever you are, are somewhere in this Note. And I am thankful to God for you.
Just typing what is in my head has sharpened my thankfulness. I don't cry much while watching movies. But if you ever watch It's a wonderful life with me, you will see me tear up towards the end. George Bailey is feeling pretty low about himself when he is reminded in the end, "No man is a failure who has friends." God gave us a pretty cool world, but He wasn't done until He gave us the ability to create relationships. This is found in family and friends. There is relationship within the God-head. Amazingly, He has given us an opportunity to experience that with Him, and with others. It is a shame when we diminish that. We are born and grow with various imperfections. We will have some of these flaws till we die. We change. We become. If your relationship with me is based on perfection, then you are going to be disappointed rather often, as I will with you. But if our relationship is grounded in love... in spite of, and maybe because of our imperfections, we will be extremely thankful to God for those who are, ultimately by His choice, in our lives.
Every relationship is about choices. First, God chose to guide us into relationships. Second, we choose how to live in them. I haven't always given other people reason to be thankful for God bringing us together, but I want to be thankful for God's choices. Paul writes, "In every thing give thanks, or express gratitude: for this is the will of God for you, or God's desire towards you,in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The very next verse says, "Don't extinguish the Spirit." So, when I was prompted to write this, I wrote it. My last thought is...
It's easy to be thankful and grateful when you know that you got the best end of every relationship in your life. Yep... in our relationship, the pecking order is God, you, then me. I pray that I always show that. That's where I am, and that's where I want to stay.
Well... that was my Thanksgiving entry for 2009. I have more to be thankful for in 2015 because there are more in those categories. I am blessed because of you...
"I always thank my God for you..." (1 Corinthians 1:4)
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.